Dedicated to the work of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger and all the other people, both actors and technicians who helped them make those wonderful films.
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The Red Shoes (CTBF)
14 February 2014
Tonight I braved the wind and rain and went to the CTBF screening of The Red Shoes.
The CTBF, the Cinema and Television Benevolent Fund, were celebrating their 90th anniversary by screening The Red Shoes at the Warner Bros. Private Screening Room, Theobald's Road, London WC1X 8WB. The CTBF are the leading UK charity for Cinema, Film & TV professionals, supporting those in times of need, and running charity fundraising events including the annual Royal Film Performance
They provide dynamic support for those facing personal and career challenges of illness, injury, unemployment or finances. They also aid talent entering our industries through the John Brabourne Awards
The film was introduced by Andrew Macdonald, Emeric Pressburger's grandson and producer of numerous ground breaking films including: Trainspotting, 28 Days Later, The History Boys, Last King of Scotland (directed by his brother Kevin Macdonald).
The wind did blow and the rain did rain, but I made my way to the Warner Bros. screening room on Theobolds Road.
As I settled down I noticed that they had a pair of red shoes on display. These were one of the pairs that was used in the film, donated to the CTBF by Noreen Ackland-Best who was the assistant editor on most Archers films from Black Narcissus to Ill Met By Moonlight and then took the reins as the main editor on Michael Powell's films The Queen's Guards & Peeping Tom. The CTBF had been looking after Noreen in her later years and she gave them the shoes as a Thank You. A lovely lady.
I got chatting to various people, as I do at this sort of event and I met Richard Wilson, CEO of the CTBF and Peter Meunier, group finance director and company secretary. Two very nice people.
Peter is also the MD of Strawberry Media who have recently released Miracle in Soho so we chatted about that and about the various other films that they hope to release
I had a few quick words with Andrew Macdonald when he turned up. I had met him before at Cannes in 2009. I told him that we would look after his and Kevin's wives and his son at the Blue Plaque unveiling. It's a shame that neither Andrew nor Kevin can make it but Andrew's son Archie, Emeric's great-grandson, will represent Emeric's family.
Then it was in to see the film, the latest digital restoration as distributed by Park Circus. Lovely to see it again on a fair sized screen. Most of the people there were affiliated to or supporters of the CTBF and a surprising number said that they had never seen the film before. But afterwards they were full of praise for it.
I went there via Holborn underground station and I see in the news the next morning that a woman was killed by falling masonry which fell onto her car when a building collapsed near Holborn underground station. The risks we take in the name of film!
Other P&P trips